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3 Preventable Air Conditioner Problems

Air Condition
Air conditioner problems are often preventable with routine care. Nothing's worse on a hot day than a broken air conditioner that would still work if it had proper maintenance. This guide lists three common reasons air conditioners need to have repairs and how you might prevent the problems.

1. Ice on the Air Conditioner                                                                  
It's an odd sight when ice covers an air conditioner on a hot day, but it is a common problem. Ice can form due to trouble with the refrigerant, airflow blockage, or mechanical failures.

One of the main preventable reasons for an iced air conditioner is a clogged filter. When dust cakes the filter, air can't flow through it, which leads to ice formation that can spread over the entire unit. Other things can cause restricted airflow too, such as blocked ducts, clogged vents, and a dirty evaporator coil.

Prevent this ice problem by changing the filter according to the manufacturer's recommendation. However, if your AC runs constantly during the summer, you may want to at least check the filter monthly and change it more often if it needs it. Also, clean the register vents and make sure nothing obstructs the flow of air around the HVAC.

While you can't service the mechanical and electrical parts of the AC, you can make sure it receives preventative maintenance from a technician on schedule. Have your air conditioner serviced in the spring so it is cleaned, checked, repaired, and in top condition for the summer.

Having regular service calls and changing the filter on a schedule are the two most important things you can do to prevent an ice problem with your AC.

2. Overflowing Drain Pan

An overflowing drain pan is a problem because the water damages your floor if it goes on long enough. Your AC drains condensation outside through a tube. Sometimes, the tube clogs and water accumulates in the drain pan. If the water accumulates faster than the line drains, then the water overflows the pan.

It's a good practice to check the drain pan when you change the filter in your air conditioner. This allows you to catch problems early before water damage occurs. If you see water in the pan, then check the drain line. If there's a clog, it might come out if you use a wet vac to create suction on the line.

You could also try breaking up the clog or forcing it through the line. If the problem happens frequently, then adjust the drain so it has the right slope. If you can't clear the clog or if it needs to be repositioned so it drains properly, then call for an HVAC technician's help.

3. Blocked Condenser
Weeds, grass, and tree branches grow fast in the summer. It doesn't take long for the area around your AC condenser to become overgrown. This creates a dangerous situation because the condenser needs adequate air circulation to work efficiently.

If the condenser can't pull in enough air, it struggles to operate and that increases your energy bill and lowers the life of your HVAC. It's easy to keep the condenser from being blocked by trimming grass around the unit regularly and cutting back branches and other plants that get too close.

Don't place anything on the condenser because that cuts off air to the unit. If you damage the tiny fins on the side and they flatten out, then buy a fin comb at a hardware store and return the fins to their normal position so air flows around them freely.

Doing your part to maintain your air conditioner during the summer doesn't take much work, but the maintenance you provide could mean the difference between a cool and sweltering house.

Leave the technical and difficult maintenance to Eagle Refrigeration & Mechanical. We'll service your air conditioner and make repairs as needed so you won't have to worry about your AC failing.